Centre for Culture and Technology, CCAT, Curtin University, seminars, John Hartley, Tama Leaver, Niall Lucy, Dawn Bennett, Robert Briggs, Kim Scott, Len Collard, Scott Fitzgerald, Sean Gorman, Tim Highfield, Henry Li, Steve Mickler, Thomas Petzold, Alistair Rainnie, Eleanor Sandry, Michele Willson

Seminar 1

Digital storytelling workshop

Presented by: Dr Christina Spurgeon, Creative Industries Faculty, QUT together with visiting academics from Zhejiang University of Media & Communications (ZUMC), CCAT’s partner university in Hangzhou, China
Date: 28 February 2014

Abstract: Digital Storytelling is a powerful means for enabling communication and social participation. Ordinary people work with expert creative practitioners to create first person narratives for a wide and growing range of purposes, including community building, cultural engagement, brand identification and public communication. A digital story usually combines 15-30 still images and a recorded script of 100-250 words to create an original personal digital story in the form of a 2-3 minute digital video. This form of co-creative media takes advantage of newly accessible technologies but is based in the ancient and universal tradition of storytelling.

Seminar 2

The impact of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) on the history the Indian Ocean Region

Presented by: Dr Nonja Peters
Time and date: 12.30 – 1.30pm, Thursday 15 May 2014
Venue: 104.101/2:LT (across the passage from Common Grounds Restaurant, Curtin University)

Abstract: How did the earth’s peoples, cultures, economies, and polities become so closely interconnected? When did our world become ‘global’ and what vital role did Asia and Africa play at the centre of this new international community?  The Dutch connection with Australia began in March 1606, in Wik country near what is now Weipa in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland, when Willem Jansen, skipper of the Duyfken a Jacht of the Dutch East India Company (Vereinigde Oost Indisch Compagnie VOC) and his crew, looking for trading opportunities, mapped 250 kilometres of the coastline to Cape Keerweer. All told, around 30 mariners from diverse national backgrounds mapped parts of the Southland’s coastline before Captain James Cook declared it British territory. In this seminar I present snapshots of the establishment of the Dutch East India Company, its operations in the Indian Ocean and its relationship with pre-British Western Australia.

Seminar 3

Digital humanities, visualisation, and playful learning

Presented by: Erik Champion, Professor of Cultural Visualisation, MCCA, Curtin University
Venue: Curtin HIVE (Hub for Immersive Visualisation and eResearch) – enter via John Curtin Gallery, Building 200A.
Time and date: 12.30–1.30pm Thursday 22 May 2014  (RSVP is essential for entry)

Abstract: Digital Humanities, welcoming ‘big tent’ or cash-grab in a crowded campsite? There has long been a debate on what exactly is Digital Humanities, in his chapter ‘The Digital Humanities or a Digital Humanism’ for the book Debates in the Digital Humanities, (Gold, 2012), Dave Parry raises the controversial question as to whether Digital Humanities would be best considered as the application of computing, or an inquiry as to how digital media has irrevocably changed the Humanities (Parry, 2012).

Rather than an either/or position, I personally believe that Digital Humanities at its core considers how to integrate computing with humanities and attempts to understand how both computing and humanities must change. In particular I have a concern there is a subtle suggestion running through some texts that digital humanities is/are primarily or uniquely or best viewed as computing services and tools applied to the digitalization and processing of text or literature (Baldwin, 2013). For various significant reasons that will hopefully become abundantly clear before this book ends, I believe that humanities viewed as being primarily or fundamentally text-based is a grave mistake, and will impact negatively on both non-text based and text-based digital humanities.

I have four premises to contend with: the idea that digital humanities is/are primarily text-based and that non-text based media is not part of Digital Humanities; visualisation cannot provide suitable scholarly arguments; there is a clear separation between written language and images; and to be a humanist or a humanistic scholar (not the same thing) one has to have high levels of literacy. I feel compelled to provide examples through immersive environments and interaction, (both playful and serious).

Seminar 4

From global corporations to small medium enterprises in the cultural industries

Presented by: Dr Scott Fitzgerald
Time and date: 12.30 – 1.30pm, Tuesday 24 June
Venue: 104.101/2:LT (across the passage from Common Grounds Restaurant, Curtin University)

Abstract: While the cultural industries have long been characterised by complex connections between large corporations and a swarm of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), in first decade of the twenty-first century corporations combining different communication and cultural industries within larger corporate structures have undergone unpredictable and often seemingly contradictory processes of restructuring.  Accounts of change have most commonly centred on a new phase of media convergence and the destabilising effects of new technical capabilities on the tight corporate control of cultural commodity distribution.  Others have emphasised de-convergence and the splintering of cultural industry conglomerates as corporate investors lost patience with low profits, minor revenue increases and depressed stock prices, prompting a shift to new business models.  This paper provides an overview of the structure and industry dynamics of the cultural industries, from ‘global’ corporations to SMEs and assesses the possibly changing relationship between these firms and large corporations in light of the above-described processes of convergence or de-convergence.  The paper draws upon the distinct cultural industries and creative industries approaches to analyse and critique these accounts of shifting value chains.

Seminar 5

Culture, animality and technology in the thought of Dominique Lestel

Presented by: Dr Matthew Chrulew
Time and date: 12.30 – 1.30pm, Tuesday 22 July 2014

Venue: Health Sciences PVC Boardroom (400:405), Curtin University

Dominique Lestel’s philosophy of ethology (the science of animal behaviour) is of real significance for contemporary ontology and ethics. Across a number of works, he articulates a sustained critique of Cartesianism in images of mechanical animal behaviour, and offers alternative phenomenological approaches to understanding animal worlds. Moreover, Lestel breaks with the negative anthropology of his poststructuralist predecessors, exploring instead a naturalistic, relational and constructivist positive anthropology of the human animal appropriate to our posthuman age. I will focus on his conceptual intertwining of culture, technology, and animality – both human and nonhuman. In his major work Les origines animales de la culture, he engages with the ethological revolution of the twentieth century, arguing that culture is animal through and through: we should not oppose human culture and animal nature, but different human and animal cultures. Indeed, all human cultures are hybrid cultures wherein humans, animals and artifactual machines share meaning, interests and affects. Today, we are increasingly surrounded by machines that replicate and replace animals, and confronted with the task of inventing ‘new, deliberately trans-specific cultures’.

Seminar 6

Digital storytelling in Turkey: Emerging agendas

Presented by: Dr Burcu Şimşek, Hacettepe University, Turkey
Time and date: 1.15pm – 2.15pm, Wednesday 6 August 2014
Venue: 104.101/2:LT (across the passage from Commongrounds Restaurant, Curtin University)

Short bio: Assistant Professor Dr Burcu Şimşek is Vice-Dean for International Relations and coordinator of th Digital Storytelling Unit in the Faculty of Communication at Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey. She completed her PhD in Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology under the supervision of Professor John Hartley and Associate Professor Jean Burgess. She had her MSc  degree in Women’s Studies at Ankara University. Since 2009, she has been running digital storytelling workshops in Turkey and abroad. Her academic interests focus on gender issues and new media studies, and builds connections to health communication.

Abstract: The Digital Storytelling Unit in the Faculty of Communication at Hacettepe University has been a pioneer with its digital storytelling projects in Turkey since 2009. With a strong gender focus, the digital storytelling workshops are organised by the unit to collect and circulate everyday life narratives of ordinary people in Turkey and abroad. In this talk, Dr Burcu Şimşek aims to give an overview of the current projects that she leads in Turkey and to discuss her current work on snap-shot digital storytelling workshops that she runs with migrant women from Turkey living in Melbourne.

Seminar 7

Noongar knowledge networks

Presented by:  Professors Len Collard, Kim ScottJohn Hartley with CCAT Research Associate, Ingrid Cumming and UWA School of Indigenous Studies Research Associate, Jennifer Buchanan
Time and date: 12.30–1.30pm, Tuesday 2 September 2014
Venue: Health Sciences PVC Boardroom (400:405), Curtin University

Abstract: Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, expressed the wish that Wikipedia would create and distribute knowledge to “every single person on the planet in their own language.” This project investigates the problems and possibilities of using contemporary digital networks and affordances to promote the use and future of the Noongar language. Supported by an ARC Indigenous Discovery grant, we are investigating how a Noongar knowledge network can be developed across (i) various knowledge domains (e.g. country, story, music and pop culture, citizenship) using (ii) knowledge sources (written archives held by government or organisations; oral sources held by families), by (iii) recruiting active knowledge agents (people from the Noongar language community, e.g. in schools and associations). Using these resources, we will create a “Noongarpedia” to test whether Jimmy Wales’s desire can be realised for one of Australia’s most prominent – but officially undervalued – Aboriginal languages.

Seminar 8

Reviewing the AFL’s vilification laws to promote multiculturalism, community harmony and reconciliation

Presented by: Dr Sean Gorman, Senior Research Fellow, MCCA, Curtin University and Dr Dean Lusher, ARC Future Fellow, Centre for Transformative Information,  Swinburne University.
Date and time: 10.30am–12.30pm, Friday 12 September 2014
104.101/2:LT (across the passage from Common Grounds Restaurant, Curtin University)

Abstract: This ARC Linkage investigated how current players and staff in the Australian Football League (AFL) understand racism and intolerance as it relates to Rule 35 – the AFL’s racial and religious vilification law – to determine the efficacy of the rule and the associated education programs aimed at addressing racial and religious intolerance.

Within the AFL’s code of conduct, the AFL’s Rule 35 states:

Through insights into the AFL experience, this project aims to better understand attitudes towards harmony and diversity, and improve public policy to promote harmony among Australia’s diverse communities. The project will provide for the first time valuable base-line data from an elite professional sporting organization that will have national implications across sectors and communities. The Partners are the AFL, the AFL Players Association and the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship.

Seminar 9

Patterns of innovation in the co-creation of cultural products – an agent-based simulation approach

Presented by: Dr Patrik Wikström: Associate Professor and Principal Research Fellow, Centre for Creative Industries and Innovation, Queensland University of Technology.
Time and date: 12.30–1.30pm, Wednesday 22 October 2014.
Venue: 104.101/2:LT (across the passage from Common Grounds Restaurant, Curtin University)

Abstract: The talk presents the preliminary findings from a project that uses agent-based simulation models to explain patterns of innovation that emerge in the complex interaction between producers and users of cultural products. The project’s long-term aim is to be able to replicate and explain such patterns in a range of contexts, such as literature, games, music, and film, but at this stage, the model is exclusively focused on music. The model attempts to replicate historical data on the consumption and production of popular music in three western music markets.

Seminar 10

A humanities approach to World Heritage management: the case of the Pasargadae in Iran

Presented by: Dr Ali Mozaffari, ECR Fellow, Curtin University
Time and date: 12.30 – 1.30 pm, Thursday 23 October 2014
Venue: 104.101/2:LT (across the passage from Common Grounds Restaurant, Curtin University)

Abstract: This seminar presents the work in progress undertaken this year by Dr Ali Mozaffari and Professor Parisa Ghodous at University of Lyon 1 in France. The seminar workshops the idea behind their forthcoming paper which discusses a digital humanities approach to cultural heritage management.

Cultural heritage is a multi and transdisciplinary process which demands the collaborative operation of multiple agents, experts and non-experts (local residents), in addressing common set of problems. This is a complex process and its working depends on good access to various sets of data and their readily sharing in order to address conflicting demands.  Consequently, facilitating the participation of multiple points of view and their communication is an important research problem. From this perspective, the majority of existing systems and models that focus on reasoning activities of a single pre-determined discipline don’t reflect the reality of the environment in which actual decisions can be made and collaborations take place. The distributed systems based on cloud computing can facilitate the development of coordination models, communication among participants, multiple representations and concurrent reasoning. The seminar discusses the heritage-related ideas in the context of UNESCO’s manual Managing Cultural World Heritage.

Seminar 11

Social games and the everyday

Presented by: Associate Professor Michele Willson
Time and date: 12.30 – 1.30 pm, Monday 1 December 2014
Venue: 104.101/2:LT (across the passage from Common Grounds Restaurant, Curtin University)

Abstract: This talk explores some of the ways in which social network games – games played with others through social networks such as Facebook – are situated within the everyday. It argues that social games are more than just games; they perform a range of interactive and integrative functions across and within people’s lives and therefore need to be investigated as such. Social games enable spaces for and practices of creative expression, and identity management. They also form a mechanism through which relations can be enacted and maintained across and outside of the game environment. This argument requires the researcher to consider the panoply of ways in which people integrate social games within their lives and everyday practices. Part of a larger project, this particular talk will explore some findings from an exploratory survey of Australian game players about their management and integration of game play within the everyday.

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